Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ11) paired up with a Pennsylvania Republican to sponsor a bill in the House of Representatives to better protect federal judges and their immediate families. The Daniel Anderl Judicial Security and Privacy Act of 2021, named for the son of a New Jersey judge who was killed in the family’s home in 2020, has companion bipartisan legislation in the Senate that was introduced by New Jersey Senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker earlier this week.
Sherrill, a former New Jersey Assistant U.S. Attorney, first introduced this bill in 2020 in response to killing of Anderl, son of U.S. District Court Judge Esther Salas. In July 2020, a man who had argued a case before Judge Salas posed as a FedEx delivery driver and used publicly available information to find her home. He critically wounded Salas’ husband, Mark Anderl, and killed Daniel, then 20 years old. Judge Salas later made a personal, public plea for greater privacy protections for federal judges. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, “security incidents” against federal judges rose 89% between 2016 and 2019.
“What happened to Judge Salas and her husband was a heartbreaking tragedy,” said Rep. Sherrill. “No judge should have to fear for their safety, or the safety of their families, because of public service to our country. It’s imperative we make clear that we will protect public servants who are doing their duty and living up to their oaths.”
The Daniel Anderl Judicial Security and Privacy Act of 2021 will shield the personally identifiable information of federal judges and their immediate family, including home addresses, social security numbers, contact information, vehicle registration information, and the name of the schools and employers of their immediate family members. It authorizes funding to monitor and assess online threats, maintain records, investigate complaints and address acts of aggression and violations against the federal judiciary. It would also allow the U.S. Marshals Service to hire additional intelligence analysts, deputy U.S. Marshals, and other personnel to ensure the agency is able to anticipate and deter threats to federal judges.
The bill is supported by the New Jersey State Bar Association, National Association of Attorneys General, Judicial Conference of the United States, Federal Magistrate Judges Association, American Bar Association, Dominican Bar Association, New York Intellectual Property Law Association, Federal Bar Council, Hispanic National Bar Association, and Federal Judges Association.